It's not in the paper but here's a game story
Okay, not sure how this will work but here’s a game story off last night’s action. Will have the usual fare maybe a bit later than normal on Thursday morning.
Oh and I don’t know how to do photo credits so it was the multi-talented Rene Johnston who shot these.
It ended in victory.
And a bit of a controversy.
And an apology.
The Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, 90-72 before a sparse crowd announced at 15,629 at the Air Canada Centre – a significant in their hoped-for ascension through the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings.
Jose Calderon was sublime, 14 points and 11 assists in 31 minutes, pressed into extra service because he was playing so well; and the first thing he said after the game was that he was sorry.
Calderon had thrown an ill-advised lob pass to Landry Fields for the last basket of game – with just 15 seconds left and the game nowhere near in doubt – angering Sixer coach Doug Collins, who had a verbal set-to with Raptors coach Dwane Casey in the hallway leading off the court.
“That wasn’t me,” said Calderon. “I want to say I’m sorry for the last play. I didn’t realize the time and I feel bad about it.
I know coach Doug Collins was mad about that so I’m going to use you guys to apologize for that.
“That’s not Jose Calderon, I didn’t realize the exact timing. I threw that without realizing what I was doing.”
The play really wasn’t that big a deal, the Raptors would have to take a shot at sometime before the buzzer began but it broke some unspoken code and even Casey made mention of it.
“I didn’t want them to shoot that last basket but, again, you can’t control guys,” said Casey.
“Things happen, we’re big boys and that happens. Believe me, we’ve had it happen to us 15, 20 times this year, we’re down getting our butts kicked … and they’re trying to put their foot on our throat.
“We never want to embarrass anybody. It goes back to coach (Adolph) Rupp at Kentucky. He always wanted to hold the ball and I believe in that. But, again, Jose must not have heard me, he saw Landry going for a lob and thought there was more time on the clock.”
But the incident couldn’t take away from the way the Raptors registered their 13th victory of the season to inch closer to Philadelphia in the conference standings.
Using basically a seven-man rotation – Terrence Ross missed the game with a bum ankle, Aaron Gray didn’t off the bench and Mickael Pietrus lost his starting job to Fields and played just eight minutes – they held Sixer guard Jrue Holiday in check and were better whenever the game got close.
It may have been exhausting for the players, but it was necessary.
“It was tough but I kept checking with them, kept checking with them,” said Casey. “I just felt like the rhythm certain groups had, had it going; Jose did a helluva job executing and running the show.
“It kind of short-changed Kyle (Lowry) a little bit but I just felt comfortable and Jose had us going. He was making shots and I wanted to keep him in.”